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Scotland gay rights and marriage equality news

 

2014: A big year for UK marriage equality

Thursday, January 1st, 2015

Keep calm and support marriage equality2014 was a big year for marriage equality in the UK.

Same-sex marriage is now possible in the United Kingdom, with the exception of Northern Ireland. As marriage law is devolved to the governments of each country in the Union, the status of same-sex marriage is different in England and Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland.

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Marriage Equality Comes to Scotland

Tuesday, December 16th, 2014

titleScotland joins England and Wales in welcoming marriage equality.

Think Progress reports:

It took ten additional months, but legal marriage equality has officially arrived in Scotland. The country’s parliament approved the law in February by a vote of 105-18, one of the strongest endorsements of marriage equality by any legislative body. Scotland joins its United Kingdom counterparts England and Wales, leaving Northern Ireland as the only part of the Kingdom that doesn’t recognize same-sex couples’ marriages.

These are civil partnership conversions – the first “new” weddings will take place starting on 12/31.

Interestingly, the first Scottish same sex marriage took place halfway around the world, in Australia.

Gay Star News reports:

Scottish citizen Douglas Pretsell has become the first of his countrymen to legally marry another man as Scotland’s marriage equality law comes into effect today. Pretsell married Australian man Peter Gloster at the British consulate in Melbourne at 11.01am today at the exact moment when Scotland’s equal marriage legislation came into effect.

And a new poll shows that marriage equality support has reached new highs:

A study by ScotCen Social Research released to mark the occasion shows that opposition to equality has dropped to a new all-time low ahead of the changes, with 68 percent in favour and just 17 percent opposed. The numbers are a marked change from 2010, when 61 percent were in favour and 19 percent against – and a seismic shift from 2002, when just 41 percent were in favour and 29 percent opposed.

Amazing – Northern Ireland, are you listening?

Find more articles and gay wedding resources.

UK: New Poll Shows Conservative Opposition to Marriage Equality Dropping

Tuesday, November 18th, 2014

titleA new YouGov poll shows that only a bare majority of the country’s most conservative voters now oppose marriage equality.

Pink News reports:

A YouGov survey into the views of supporters of political parties uncovered data suggesting that people who vote for UKIP are increasingly at odds with some of the party’s right-wing members. The data found that just 51 percent of the party’s supporters remain opposed to equal marriage – with 39 percent now in favour. Same-sex marriage has the support of the majority in all other parties, however, with 77 percent of Lib Dems, 68 percent of Labour voters and 53 percent of Conservatives in favour. Marriage equality is opposed by 35 percent of Tories, 21 percent of Labour supporters, and just 14 percent of Liberal Democrats.

Marriage equality came to England and Wales, and the sky didn’t fall. That tends to take a lot of the wind out of the opposition’s sails.

Find more articles and gay wedding resources in the United Kingdom.

Scotland Marriage Equality to Arrive on New Year’s Eve

Monday, October 13th, 2014

Rainbow Over ScotlandWe finally have a date for the beginning of Scotland marriage equality.

Gay Star News reports:

Gay couples hoping to get married in Scotland finally have a date from when they can say their vows, following an announcement today (13 October). The first official same-sex marriages will take place in Scotland on Hogmanay, 31 December 2014. The Marriage and Civil Partnership (Scotland) Act will come into force on 16 December. This means any gay couple in a civil partnership can convert it into marriage, free of charge, from that date. Same-sex couples who hope to be among the first to marry on New Year’s Eve can register their intentions to do so on that date, allowing for the standard 15 day waiting period.

Congratulations to Scotland, one more piece of amazing news in an unbelievable week.

Find more articles and gay wedding resources in Scotland.

Poll: Average British Person Knows Five and a Half Gay Men

Sunday, July 6th, 2014

titleA new UK poll shows how many gays and lesbians the typical British person knows.

Gay Star News reports:

A new government poll has revealed the average British person knows more gay men than lesbian women. Statistics show the average British person knows 5.5 gay men and 3.1 lesbian women. The poll only focused on these two aspects of the LGBTI community. The information was gathered by government body YouGov in a survey aiming to find a reasonable number for how many gays and lesbians there are in the UK. No official data exists as to how many gays and lesbians there are in the UK, but some groups, such as LGBTI equality group Stonewall, say a figure of six per cent of the population being LGBTI is a sensible estimation.

Next poll – how many gays are between you and Kevin Bacon?

Find more articles and gay wedding resources.

UK: One Third of Church of England Bishops Gay?

Thursday, March 27th, 2014

England ChurchAn Anglican with the Church of England claims a huge percentage of the church’s Bishops are gay.

Queerty reports:

Same-sex marriage is set to kick into gear on March 29th in England and Wales, and it’s stirring conversation on both sides of the issue. Religious leaders are for the most part doing what they do best — staunchly opposing progress. But it looks like the Church of England may be even more hypocritical than usual when it comes to gays tying the knot. According to one Anglican clergyman’s account on The Daily Beast, at least 14 of the church’s 42 Bishops — one third — are gay, though none have publicly come out.

Wow. I’d love to see the same statistics for the Catholic hierarchy!

Find more articles and gay wedding resources in the United Kingdom.

UK: Britain to Recognize Overseas Weddings; Queen Signs Scotland Marriage Equality Bill

Thursday, March 13th, 2014

LondonA couple marriage equality stories out of Britain today.

First off, as of this morning, same sex couples legally married in other countries are now recognized as married in the UK.

On Top Magazine reports:

The British government will begin recognizing the marriages of gay couples who married overseas as of Thursday… “It’s like being turned into a pumpkin on the stroke of midnight,” Celia Kitzinger, who married her wife Sue Wilkinson in Canada in 2003, told BuzzFeed. “We’ll be sitting there in bed with a bottle of champagne and at the stroke of midnight we’ll turn into a married couple. We’re going away to a hotel, having a nice meal and then at midnight we’ll be wife and wife again!”

In related news, the Scotland law took a step closer to becoming reality.

Gay Star News reports:

Queen Elizabeth II has signed same-sex marriage into law in Scotland today (13 March). By the end of the year, Scottish gay couples will be able to unite in matrimony. It is the last step in the long battle to get the Marriage and Civil Partnership (Scotland) Bill through parliament, making it an Act.

Northern Ireland, we’re waiting for you to get your act together.

Find more articles and gay wedding resources in the United Kingdom.

UK, Scotland: Holyrood Overwhelmingly Passes Marriage Equality Bill

Wednesday, February 5th, 2014

Rainbow Over ScotlandThe Scottish Parliament passed the marriage equality by 105-18 votes yesterday.

The Washington Blade reports:

A bill that would extend marriage rights to same-sex couples in Scotland on Tuesday received final approval. The 105-18 vote in the Scottish Parliament took place after more than three hours of debate. Iceland, France, the Netherlands, Belgium, Norway, Denmark, Sweden, Portugal and Spain are among the 15 countries in which gays and lesbians can legally marry.

The Equality Network reports that a rainbow appeared over the Parliament yesterday.

The bill’s passage will also benefit transgender and interest people in Scotland.

Pink News reports:

The passage of the Marriage and Civil Partnership (Scotland) Bill marks a significant step forward in terms of legal equality for trans and intersex people in Scotland. The Scottish Transgender Alliance and Equality Network secured a number of amendments to the bill ensuring that the needs of trans and intersex people are at the core of this historic legislation.

When the law comes into force trans people will finally be able to have the gender they identify as legally recognised regardless of whether they are married or in a civil partnership. Our successful spousal veto amendment means that even if a trans person’s spouse does not consent, they will still be able to obtain legal gender recognition. In passing this amendment, MSPs from across Scotland’s political parties recognised that access to gender recognition is a matter of personal autonomy and a human right which should not be able to be blocked by another person.

Churches will not be forced to hold same sex weddings.

Towleroad.com reports:

Religious and belief bodies can “opt in” to perform same-sex marriages.Ministers said no part of the religious community would be forced to hold such ceremonies in churches. During a debate at Holyrood, MSPs rejected amendments which were said to provide “protection” for groups and individuals opposed to same-sex marriage.

When will the weddings begin?

Buzzfeed reports:

The exact date for the first same-sex marriage in Scotland depends on when the Westminster parliament amends existing legislation to ensure officials who refuse to conduct same-sex marriages are protected under the law.

Most sources are betting on October.

Find more articles and gay wedding resources in Scotland.

UK: Scotland Likely to Legalize Marriage Equality Today

Tuesday, February 4th, 2014

ScotlandIt looks like today is the day that marriage equality will come to Scotland.

Gay Star News reports:

People all over Scotland are awaiting the final vote today (4 February), finding out whether it will join the 16 other countries in the world to allow same-sex marriage. The Marriage and Civil Partnership (Scotland) Bill is expected to be approved by parliament later today. But while a shock still could happen, it is looking likely it will pass around 6pm local time. Under the new legislation, religious bodies will be able to opt in to perform same-sex marriages but individual celebrants who feel it would go against their faith will be protected.

Reports vary as to when the law would take effect. Some say next year, but others say as soon as July or October of 2014.

Pink News is liveblogging the event, although we had some trouble with their site today.

Find more articles and gay wedding resources in Scotland.

UK, Scotland: First Weddings in July?

Monday, February 3rd, 2014

Scotland - Google Maps

from Google Maps

It looks like same sex couples could start marrying a lot sooner than was originally expected.

Gay Star News reports:

The bill legalizing gay marriage in Scotland is expected to be pass overwhelmingly by Members of Scottish Parliament (MSPs) in a free vote tomorrow (4 January). While it was expected the first gay weddings would take place in 2015, roughly a year after England and Wales, implementation could take far quicker than expected. The Scottish Government announced they would work with the UK Government to speed up the process, as long as it passes the final vote.

If so, gay and lesbian couples will begin marrying in Scotland just three and a half months after their England/Wales counterparts. Northern Ireland, however, continues to drag its feet, even though polls there show 57% support for marriage equality.

Find more articles and gay wedding resources in Scotland.